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Double Helix

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  2,904 ratings  ·  325 reviews
Eighteen-year-old Eli discovers a shocking secret about his life and his family while working for a Nobel Prize-winning scientist whose specialty is genetic engineering.
Paperback, 250 pages
Published May 5th 2005 by Puffin Books (first published March 30th 2004)
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Average rating 3.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,904 ratings  ·  325 reviews

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Dec 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in bioethics
10 December 2008 update added at the end.

Double Helix by Nancy Werlin is young adult mystery which my daughter handed me recently. The main character, Eli Samuels, a recent high school graduate, is at a crossroads in his life in more ways than one. His mother is completely debilitated and dying of Huntington's disease. He can't afford college but his father vehemently opposes a lucrative job offer with prestigious Wyatt Transgenics by its founder, a legendary molecular biologist. And yet Eli's f
Jan 29, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: teen, science-fiction
I can't remember why this got added to my "to read" list, but it did and I can't say it was really worth adding. The main character of Eli is not that likable or sympathetic. His attitude towards his girlfriend is frankly appalling and I can't believe that she ends up taking him back after the way he treats her. His relationship with his parents is also very troubling. His mother has a horrible disease and he just wants her to get on with dying so he can get on with his life and his father can m ...more
Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan
Oct 05, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young adults & adults who enjoy books by Robin Cook, Michael Palmer, Michael Crichton
This is very similar to books by Robin Cook, Michael Palmer, and Michael Crichton.

Here, three of the main characters: Eli, Viv, Kayla are all young adults.

When I started reading, it seemed like a light version of those author’s books coupled with the fruition of many teenage boy’s fantasies of having a girlfriend who has sex with him regularly.

But I grew to really like the characters, and the science fiction story is a thought provoking one about issues such as medical and scientific ethics,
Apr 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Sci-fi Fans
"Double Helix" is about Eli Samuels who has just graduated as saludictorian as his class. He has a number of problems to deal with - his new job at Wyatt Transgenics that for some reason has his dad angry, his mom who is suffering from Huntington's disease, and his girlfriend Viv who is having trust issues with him. He starts to spend time with a famous scientist named Quincy Wyatt, and through him he finds out dangerous secrets about not only his mom and dad, but he, Eli, himself.

I enjoyed this
Melissa Jones
Mar 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book was cute, but super annoying in how it kept hinting at things, but took forever to reveal them.
Declan M
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: english-9h
I thought that this book was extremely interesting and it had a very good plot that kept me wanting to read the book more and more. The author put this book in recent time and made the book seem like it was an actual event that had happened. There are also lessons that were learned throughout the book. The author also made sure that everything made sense to the readers. I thought that she described the setting very well because I was able to imagine what everything and everyone was like.
Dec 04, 2017 added it
a kid eli Samules fresh out of high school gets a job at a trans genics company. His dad dosen't want him to work there but he does anyway. Eli asks hid dad why he dosent like that company and he dosent answer. and his mom dies. Eli finds out that he is a science expierment and thats why his dad dosent like that company. I cant realy relate it to other books because i dont read books like this. I think overall it was a good book. I would suggest it to someone who likes this part of science. ...more
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I just went back and left a rating/review for one of Werlin's books I remember hating, so now I feel like I should leave one on this book I remember loving. I read this probably at least ten times in middle school, enough that now that the plot and characters have mostly faded there are a few scenes I still remember vividly. It was thought-provoking. ...more
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
YA. Fiction. Genetic engineering. Bioethics. Huntington's chorea. Science fiction. ...more
Victor Wright
Apr 17, 2015 rated it liked it

Victor Wright

Due date: April 17, 2015

Honors Composition

Book Review

Double helix Nancy Werlin a mystery filled book with a little bit of sci fi. The book starts of with a boy named Eli who is tall smart and athletic. He decides to get a job at Wyatt’s transgressions but his does not like Dr. Wyatt and Eli does not know this. When he works there he gains a little relationship with him and went over his house one day. While there he meets a girl named Kayla and he stays there a long time. He
Jack Doherty
Mar 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jordan Heidrich
My experience reading Double Helix by Nancy Werlin was very good. The book had a lot of mystery in it which I really enjoy reading. I love the suspense and the plot twists in the book. In the story Eli Samuel's is working at a lab for a famous biologist Dr. Wyatt. There is a strange connection between Eli's parents and Dr. Wyatt that Eli wants to find out. He believes it has to do with his mother who has Huntington's disease. "I was consumed by curiosity… and anxiety. I’d wait all afternoon if I ...more
Jul 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
I'm not a fan of science-fiction, which is why I've had this books sitting on my TBR pile for the last 3 1/2 years. But I am a fan of Nancy Werlin, and she didn't let me down with this book. From the little I know of genetics and DNA research, this seems to be heavily based in science and perhaps the future of genetics research. I enjoyed the change in the protagonist as the book progressed. To be honest, I had trouble getting into the book because I really didn't like Eli at first. However, as ...more
Diana Lopez
Nov 01, 2011 rated it liked it
It was a good book but complex on some parts but it was balanced out because the plot was pretty concise. I loved the awkward twist and it was really creepy with the Kayla thing. It was a good science fiction novel and it can be Interpreted as a message to scientists to not get to caught up with scientific discoveries.
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-school
Great read—engaging, intelligent—and I loved the perspective on Cambridge from someone familiar with it, written the year I moved here, in fact. Unfortunately, I'm only reading it now, post-Orphan Black, so I kept thinking of that and wishing for more Tatiana Maslanys in this. Sorry. Super great book though. ...more
Michelle Hendricks
Aug 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
I was sick today and spent the day with this good book as my distraction. I liked the topic, having just watched all 10 episodes of BBC's Orphan Black back to back. Genes are a complicated topic and I'm sure I read an entertaining whitewashed version, but I enjoyed it anyway! ...more
♠ Tabi⁷₈⁷ ♠
Meh. I really don't feel like going on another rant but let's just say that this author better have some other books that I will like. The transgenic stuff was pretty cool(ish) but the whole story just felt really blah to me. ...more
Pam Miller
Mar 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Good book, great twists and turns. Very thought provoking!!
Oct 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Totally amazing. Makes science so much more interesting. Talks about cloning and transgenic.
Cherisa B
A scientific YA fantasy mystery. I liked it a lot.
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Double Helix was one of the best books I have read in awhile. It always made me want to keep reading on, because there was really no good place to stop. It is about a son, Eli, but someone significant was about him. His father kept this significance a secret, because he was very mad about it. The secret doesn’t get revealed until the end of the book, which is what made me keep reading. Eli goes through a lot of stuff, but the most exciting is when he gets hired into what seems like a dream job f ...more
Double Helix is an engrossing mystery novel that never pulls any punches on its themes, reveals or characters. Double Helix is published by Nancy Werlin and is one of her many entries into the genre. I enjoyed Double Helix throughout my time reading but a few elements held it back from being an outstanding novel.

The story revolves around Eli Samuels, a recent high school graduate who somehow lands a job working for one of the world's most acclaimed scientists, Dr.Quincy Wyatt. The book focuses o
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: english
Double Helix by Nancy Werlin is an interesting mystery novel that questions the morality of genetic experimentation. I enjoyed reading this book, although the story took a few chapters to become interesting. One part that really stood out to me in the book was the character development. The characters in the story matured throughout the story, and their personalities were clearly shown during their conflicts. This story was a science fiction novel unlike any other. The main plot of the story kep ...more
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book "Double Helix" was very interesting and entertaining. There were a bunch of suspenseful moments which kept me intrigued. There were also some romantic parts in the book that I think gave the book a little bit of character. I also like a few comic and cartoon references. I also like how the main characters are high school students because it shows that younger kids could still get a good adventure. There are a bunch a scenes where the main character argues with his parents but I think i ...more
Stone Gortowski
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Monica Tolva
Eli Samuels just graduated from high school (salutatorian - nicely done!) and has applied for a summer job at Wyatt Transgenics, a nearby genetics research lab. He has the salutatorian and all, but still is seems strange that Dr. Quincy Wyatt, the present of the lab and a genetics pioneer that Eli has read about in his science textbooks, would conduct the interview himself.

Read p. 4: "And there he was … grain of my skin."

Also strange is Eli's father's vehement disapproval of this summer job, whi
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Double helix is about a boy named Eli and Eli comes from a rich to Upper class family. Eli and his mom were close but she had a medical condition that killed her when he was a young child. Eli has a girlfriend and they both graduated from high school the same year and they were both neck and neck for valedictorian but he let her beat him on a test because he thought it would mean more to her and it did. Eli starts working for a doctor by the name of Quincy Wyatt. Quincy is part of Elis past in s ...more
Dec 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Okay I enjoyed this story had a great storyline but what annoyed me is why couldn’t Eli’s dad just tell him why he disliked Dr. Wyatt? Apparently his dad knew what Dr. Wyatt was doing all along and illegal so why didn’t his dad ever get authorities to investigate?
I just feel sometimes that the parents in these YA books lack intelligence, parenting skills or something.
It was however a great idea with the whole transgenetics idea or chimera person.
I don’t understand what double helix stairs had a
Mazen Himdan
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I think this was a very realistic book. There were many times where I thought, this could happen to society. The main character Eli had many problems with his dad. That was very relatable because the problems escalated from the job Eli wanted that his dad didn't condone. The book also many twists and turns, it was so mysterious sometimes I got confused. This book was overall very good, but at the same time so much was happening at the same time. There was no standing structure and at the end th ...more
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Eli is a physical and mental prodigy who has been spending his life holding back and trying to blend in with the others around him. He has a mother with a genetic disease and a father who refuses to talk about mysterious things. Eli is a nice character. I enjoy the way he is such an imposing physical specimen and uses it for protecting others. He has some issues, but that is to be expected with his home situation. The bioethics in the story is the main theme. We can--but should we? The mystery i ...more
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Join in the discussions! 1 9 Apr 29, 2009 09:51AM  
Young Adult Book ...: * Liked it, Hated it? (spoilers) 21 44 Nov 16, 2008 09:30AM  
Young Adult Book ...: Morals and Ethics (spoilers) 7 34 Oct 25, 2008 08:35PM  
Young Adult Book ...: Book Status (no spoilers) 18 38 Oct 25, 2008 03:49PM  
Young Adult Book ...: Secrets (spoilers) 6 31 Oct 25, 2008 03:48PM  

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Nancy Werlin writes young adult fiction: New York Times–bestselling fantasy, Edgar-award winning suspense, and National Book Award-honored realistic novels.

Nancy's newest book is the comedy ZOE ROSENTHAL IS NOT LAWFUL GOOD.

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